Belmont forward Jessica Thomson and Stelly's defender Cianna Wolski await the result of a Bulldogs shot during Tuesday's city AAA senior girls basketball league game at Belmont. Thomson led the Bulldogs with 16 points and collected 13 rebounds in a 40-31 win.

Bulldogs’ win virtually assures a home court playoff spot in Langford

Senior girls basketball season heading toward the post-season

Belmont secondary is hosting the city AAA senior girls basketball tournament in February, but until last night, it wasn’t clear whether the Bulldogs would be in the six-team event.

Hitting some key baskets down the stretch, Belmont’s girls pulled away from Stelly’s and posted a 40-31 home win to push their record to 2-3 in league play. The victory increased the likelihood of a top-five finish for the Bulldogs, who round out league play tonight (Jan. 21) with a game against Reynolds at Claremont.

After the league’s exam break, Belmont hosts the city playoff tournament Feb. 11 to 13.

“The win more or less assured that we won’t have to play that play-in game,” said Belmont coach Brad Lidstone, referring to a sixth-versus-seventh match to determine the last team in the playoffs.

The Bulldogs were led Tuesday by their three returning players. Jessica Thomsen scored 16 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, while fellow forward Claire Church had 14 points and used her reach to block six Stelly’s shots. Point guard Madison Bullen chipped in five points, collected seven rebounds and had six assists.

The trio, in combination with an athletic group of less experienced players, have helped the Bulldogs improve from the start of the season, Lidstone said.

“Every game we play is better than the one before,” he said, noting that the goal is to keep improving and be “hitting our stride at the right time.”

With the opening of Royal Bay, some of the players who would have been part of the Bulldogs core are now playing for the Ravens. As well, having no junior girls team last season meant there were no Grade 10s moving up to the senior team this year.

“At the start we were optimistic, but we were also realistic,” Lidstone said of the team’s prospects. “We’re pleasantly surprised at how we’ve done.”

Solid results at the Totem 61 tournament in Port Alberni earlier this month, and at their own tournament before Christmas have allowed the team to grow. They’ll get some pre-playoff warmup games next weekend (Jan. 29 and 30) when Belmont hosts the annual Bill Spotswood Memorial tournament.

As for his team’s chances of securing one of the South berths in the Island championships, set for Feb. 18 to 20 at Claremont, Lidstone remains optimistic. Teams can get hot down the stretch, he said, and this year’s AAA league “has a lot more competitive balance” than past years.

Ravens win West Shore showdown … The warm-up game for Tuesday’s senior girls contest at Belmont saw the visiting Royal Bay Ravens down the Bulldogs. All six teams from the city’s junior girls A league advance to the playoffs, to be played Feb. 9 through 12, then Royal Bay hosts the Island championships Feb. 18 to 20.

Late Tuesday at Belmont, the Bulldogs senior boys improved to 3-2 in Div. 1 league play with a 79-65 win over Claremont.

Just Posted

Province overrules View Royal; plans to build handyDART facility

View Royal Mayor calls province’s actions “heavy handed” and “unusual”

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Oak Bay father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

Residents say Monday’s fatal crash in Saanich wasn’t unexpected

Speed has long been a concern for neighbours in the Cumberland and Union roads area

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Victoria Conservatory of Music bursary fund reaches $1M mark

The Eric and Shirley Charman Bursary Fund launched in 2017

WATCH: United Way #Drive4Five event launches campaign to raise $5 million

More than 80,000 lives changed last year by the United Way

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Man who crushed Nanaimo RCMP cars with stolen truck gets more jail time

Majore Jackson, 34, sentenced to two more years in jail in provincial court in Nanaimo

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Most Read